"You are linguist, no? So listen, and try to understand."

Great anecdotes at Language Log about encouraging students to learn languages. I have to say, following the "oh, just learn it -- it's easy" approach to French has delivered some very satisfactory results, although that's partly because French is just a subset of English with extra trailing vowels and some of the Ws replaced by Qs. At last, I understand exactly what Satie wrote on the carte postale to Jean Poueigh that got him thrown in prison! "Monsieur et cher ami: Vous n’êtes qu’un cul, mais un cul sans musique." (Is all of his correspondence that good? Maybe I should get that giant book collecting it.)

Completely without segue: Claude Piron's "Evolution is Proof of Life" is quite an interesting read about how Esperanto has evolved over the years. No doubt a lot of this change was driven by the sharp drop between the two world wars in the proportion of its speakers with luxurious waxed moustaches hampering their articulation.

Popularity factor: 5


Hey Matt! I wanted to pass along a website for learning Chinese in case you haven't heard of it: http://www.zhongwen.com/


Guess it didn't take much to get tossed in prison!

What's annoying with french (and english too, really) are all the exceptions to those so called rules. It takes more work remembering the exceptions than it does the basic rules.


Hey Julie! Thanks, that site is cool. I think I've seen it before but I always forget about it.. it's kind of overwhelming. So thanks for reminding me!

Ali: Haha, I love that. "So-called rules." So true! Fortunately I'm mostly learning to read, and it's easier to remember what something means when you can already see what it actually is...


Please read history before blatantly calling the french language a subset of engligh.
Here's some reading:


Don't worry, Bernard, I was just kidding. I've studied English all the way back to the first recorded examples, so I'm well aware of and grateful for the continental contribution.

(I thought it was us English speakers who were supposed to be bad at getting irony..)

Comment season is closed.